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Government Operational Research Service

On the Government Operational Research Service (GORS) Fast Stream, you'll use scientific and mathematical techniques to find better solutions to government policy making and resolve complex management problems. This is a fast track leadership programme for the Operational Research profession.

3.5 Years


Operational Research (OR) is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better policy decisions.

You'll do this using techniques ranging from quick back-of-the-envelope calculations to complicated systems dynamics models, forecasting, simulation and analytics.

Different OR techniques can be used to objectively assess the current situation and how different changes might affect it. Our work brings government policy to life and has an impact on everyone in the UK.


  • you need to be eligible to work in the UK
  • you need, or expect to have, a 2:1 or higher, degree apprenticeship in a highly numerate degree subject
  • Or 2:2 with a highly numerate postgraduate degree (subjects like maths, statistics and physics; for mixed degrees, at least 50% should be in a highly numerate subject).

What will you experience?

You will be using your intellect and creativity as problems can be complex, often with no single 'right answer'. Your work will support all areas of government, including policy-making, strategy and operations.

Operational researchers commonly work with economists, statisticians, social researchers, scientists and those in policy. Whilst most OR Fast Streamers only work in analytical posts, it is also possible to take up generalist posts, such as working in a private office (working directly with a Minister and liaising with departments on their behalf).

You will join the Government Operational Research Service (GORS) with access to over 1,200 members. Successful completion of the scheme and subsequently gaining promotion will see you earn around £50k to 60k.

Civil Service Fast Stream

Your progression through the programme

The OR profession is flexible and allows the candidate to choose their own career path. The OR fast stream is a 3year programme during which you will be expected to move between posts and to another department. You will gain experience in varied posts typically lasting 12 months in roles across government departments. You will also take an End Scheme Assessment once you have completed the full 3 year programme.

Supporting your learning

Our training includes:

  • 2-day residential induction course
  • Access to a range of high-quality training courses to develop your OR professional skills and wider leadership and management skills. In addition, you will be expected to complete the Fast Stream core curriculum and GORS profession specific course as part of your 3year training programme.
  • Access to a programme of cross-government events and conferences
  • Support in achieving professional accreditation by the OR Society (if desired).


Up to £55k

If you successfully complete the scheme and are promoted, you could earn around £45k to £55k.

What benefits will you enjoy?

Civil Service Fast Stream

You'll have a unique chance to work on issues that really matter, and to gain experience internally and externally. It's the best foundation for promotion and long-term progression.

Other benefits include the Civil Service pension scheme, professional qualifications, flexible working, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, child care assistance and more.

Learning and Development on the Government Operational Research Service Scheme

Alongside the scheme-specific learning offer, you will complete the universal training which provides core foundation skills and leadership & management skills.

Application process

  1. Online assessments

    The online assessments consist of Work Style Questionnaires, a multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaire, Numerical Test and Work Based Scenarios.

  2. Assessment centre

    If you pass the online assessments, you'll be invited to undertake a half day assessment centre. This will be conducted virtually on line. The Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) reflects some of the key elements of a Fast Stream role and will consist a leadership scenario, a team scenario and a written scenario. Information will be presented via an app that you will be able to access remotely.

  3. Final selection

    If you are successful at the assessment centre, you'll be invited to take part in a final selection process.

    The specialist assessments will assess your broad capabilities and motivation to be part of the profession you've chosen. You'll be sent detailed guidance before the assessment to explain what is involved.

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